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152 border guards given death penalty over revolt in Bangladesh

A former Bangladesh Rifles soldier reacted upon hearing his death sentence in connection with a 2009 mutiny, in which thousands of troops took over their headquarters.

Munir uz Zaman/AFP/Getty Images

A former Bangladesh Rifles soldier reacted upon hearing his death sentence in connection with a 2009 mutiny, in which thousands of troops took over their headquarters.

DHAKA, Bangladesh — A total of 152 former members of the Bangladesh Rifles, a paramilitary border security unit, were sentenced to death Tuesday by a Dhaka judge in connection with a bloody 2009 mutiny in which several thousand troops took control of their headquarters, demanding better working conditions, and killed scores of people.

The mutiny began suddenly, at an annual conference of the border force, as a number of guards took their commanders hostage. As soldiers massed around the building, the border guards announced a list of demands, among them better pay and permission to participate in UN peacekeeping missions.

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The mutiny collapsed 33 hours later, after army tanks surrounded the border guards’ headquarters in the heart of this crowded capital. As the uprising ended, many border guards reportedly shed their uniforms and fled the site, while security forces combed the area for fugitives.

Police officers entering the building found a mass grave containing the bodies of officers in combat fatigues who had been seized as hostages.

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